Archives for July 2017

Jul 26
2017

My Emerald City

  My Emerald City.

  The beginnings of our Christmas tree farm!  Started almost three years ago with a planting of a meager 35 trees, the tree farm took shape after dreaming of how we could share our faith, use our land, and teach the guild what the word “work” really means.

 I grew up in North East Texas where there might be as many pine trees as there are people.  So smelling the scent of pine definitely makes me feel at home wherever I might be.  In this case, North West Oklahoma.  Population pine trees: 4??  (Let’s just say not very many.)  Definitely needing to increase the scent-o-pine.  So we amped up our plantings to about 600 in year 2, and we planted 700 this last March (year 3).  Whew!

That’s me!  Tree hugger/planter/wa-wa-water girl

 

Insert three munchkins and a husband with a full time job, and you’ve got yourself a busy schedule.  Especially when you don’t have your irrigation set up yet.  Yep!  Remember yonder windmill?  It wasn’t around yet, much less pumping water to my little city of trees!  So, guess what we have had the pleasure of doing the last three years?  WATERING BY HAND!!!  (I say that in a slightly haggared and bitter tone with a dash of wisdom.)

Word to all who would like to start an tree farm…..make sure you have irrigation plans complete or very close to finished.  Yes, we were naive on our estimate of time needed to set up irrigation.  Yes, I would not recommend owning four different head lamps so you can go water the trees at night after the Guild has gone to bed.  Yes, we are crazy.

“Me and buckets have a love hate relationship.”

 

Not all who want to start a Christmas tree farm need irrigation though.  Maybe you are blessed with a climate that does not reach 105 degrees throughout the months of July and August, and receives more than 30 inches of rain per year.  If so, I am fairly confident you would be fine with out it.  Here, its a necessity!

 

  The Emerald City is looking better and better with time.  Christmas trees are usually not ready to be cut down until at least year 5, and sometimes year 6 for the average 6 foot tree.  So patience is the key, along with water, fertilization, moth control, weeding, pruning, optimum spacing, and commitment.  All of which I will completely elaborate on in coming posts.  So much to talk about y’all!!!!

All in all, Christmas tree farms are a great way to bring beauty to the land, share your faith, start traditions, and get the entire family involved.  It’s hard work, but so awesome and rewarding!  I highly recommend it, even if buckets are involved!!

 

……..ugh….buckets…..

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord.  Colossians 3:23

 

Jul 19
2017

The Why…….oh why

 

 

To have thought I would ever be in the middle of North West Oklahoma starting a Christmas tree farm and building my own house, all with my three kids, toto, and a personal wizard, would have been a dream beyond measure ten years ago.  I was a prosthetic practitioner in an earlier life, known as my twenties.  Young, ambitious, and single I spent my days working at my job and hanging out with friends.   How quickly life can change.  Although I do miss helping patients learn to walk again and seeing their lives change, I know the Lord has led me down this road, and I’m holding on.

My husband was raised on a large farm and learned from an early age about work ethic, and the ability to fix things.  I mean ANYTHING!  This was mind blowing to me, and I quickly realized how lacking my skill set is in the “fix it” department.  The more I thought about it, I realized how vastly different not only my life was, but most everyone’s is from 50 years ago.  (Unless you were raised on a farm apparently.)

Gone are the days of most any of us knowing how to fix anything.  How about knowing how to feed our own faces?  Sewing anyone?  Providing shelter if needed?  Not me!  The basic human skill sets that have been around since ol’ Adam and Eve, are  becoming extinct at an increasing rate in OUR generation.

I chewed on all this for a long time and upon sharing the growing uneasiness of my revelations to my husband, I quickly learned he was of the same mind set.  Whew!  I’m not a total weirdo…….besides the red shoes, but whatevs.  Not only are we quickly losing our basic human skill sets, but there is alarming news to think about!  FACT:  the world population is growing.  The space on the surface of the world is not.  Wowzers!  I know!

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the world food production will need to increase by a staggering 70% to keep up with the human population projected by the year 2050.  WHAT?!  Just being logical here, but think about the rising energy prices to get this food distributed.  The government regulations of green house emissions (apparently the production and distribution of food is a major contributor), AND the increasing losses of farmland to urbanization!  Sorry, I’m shouting aren’t I?  Its pretty easy to see that in the near future there might be some kinks in the road, and coincidentally at the same time that we will have almost assuredly lost our skill sets to know how to ever do anything on our own.  I don’t know about you guys, but suddenly watching TV didn’t hold such a strong appeal.  I gotz work to do y’all!

 

  1. Learn how to grow our own food
  2. Learn how to be more resourceful with what we already have (land, money, TIME)
  3. Know what it takes to get our own water.
  4. Get the kids working (muey importante!)

 

If you need anymore convincing this is headed our way, just look no further than your favorite billionaire, Bill Gates.  He has invested in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both plant based meat replacement companies founded on the fact that demand for meat is through the roof and it is one that can not be satisfied using animals.  No, we are not all becoming Vegans.  The reason: there is simply not enough water or land to satisfy the need.  Yikes.  Even Google has invested in the future of food production!  PEOPLE!  We all have work to do unless we want to be at the mercy of astronomical prices for feeding our families.  God has given us seeds.  God has given us dirt.  God has given us the sun and water.  All the ingredients needed to grow our own.  Along with that comes the need to be able to fix things, and a hefty dose of work ethic.

So, we have said our prayers and jumped in……..er….over the rainbow.   I hope you will see the importance of why you need too as well.  We can do it.  We were born to.  Let’s get to work!

 

Read more on Google and Mr. Gates’ investments into the food world here:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/06/21/482322571/silicon-valley-s-bloody-plant-burger-smells-tastes-and-sizzles-like-meat

 

May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness- An abundance of grain and new wine.  Genesis 27:28

Jul 6
2017

Water

Water.

It gets hot and dry out here in Oklahoma, and as you all know……nothing grows without water.  So here on our homestead we had to come up with a solution for our needs.  When building our home we had a well put in for the house.  HOWEVER, little did we know it would not pull a sufficient enough amount of water to supply our household needs.  Lovely.   Luckily, the Wizard did some magic and was able to trench and lay a water line for the house, which I will post more on later.  (Who is this guy?……A WIZARD!)  We still needed to use the well and not just let it sit there.  I mean we have a Christmas tree farm, a large fruit and veggie garden, and hopes of a cut flower operation.  The only logical thing to do was to get a windmill.  We quickly turned to Craigslist to find one.  (By the way, Nebraska and Iowa are flipping gold mines for farm needs and antiques. )  We found a 50 footer up in Nebraska and loaded up a truck and trailer to go get her.  I say we, but lets get real.  I have three small children (the guild) and that does not mix well with disassembling a 5o foot windmill.  So the Wizard and his brother headed out to get this thing down from its home of over 60 years!

 

Thar she blows!

The guys also had to hire a crane and operator to come help disassemble the windmill.  Just so happened to be that he lived down the road from the windmill, and was around to help with the job.  Who doesn’t believe in God?  I’m telling ya, the stars were aligned.  So on the windiest day in December the Wizard climbed up and started to take this thing apart.  Thankfully he survived and got her home safely.

Why would any sane person do this?  First of all, we are not totally sane.  Second of all, to save thousands and thousands of dollars.  Which we did!  Our next obstacle after getting her home was finding out how to get her back up.  Hmmmm…….crickets.  Thankfully after calling a windmill repair guy who knew of someone that knew someone, and then tracking that someone down through a neighboring town hall, we found a someone!!  After a series of events, the windmill was resurrected, and is now blowing freely in the Oklahoma wind.  Next up?  Getting a well house built, and irrigation set up to water those Christmas trees!  Never a dull moment.

 

 

WATER.

Can I get an amen?

 

 

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.  John 4:14